Where is Levetiracetam used?
Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant that is used to control seizures. This is used both in adults and children 3-5 years of age depending on the severity and cause of seizures. Levetiracetam can be used alone or together with other medications. The drug helps prevent seizures for as long as you continue to take it. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved this prescription with strengths of 250 mg and 500 mg tablets for oral use.
How does Levetiracetam work?
Levetiracetam is in the class of medications called anticonvulsants that works by reducing electrical signals in the brain that causes seizures. This medication can be used to control different types of seizures and helps reduce symptoms such as:
- Loss of awareness
- Uncontrollable jerking movements
This medicine can allow you to do some activities that you would otherwise be scared to do. It may take a few weeks for Levetiracetam to work because the dose has to be increased gradually.
How is Levetiracetam taken?
- Always take this medication exactly as your doctor has told you.
- This drug must be taken two times a day, particularly in the morning and evening.
- Take each dose at the same time and in the same way each day.
- Levetiracetam is used as a chronic treatment. You must continue taking the medicine as long as your doctor has told you.
- Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Avoid chewing, crushing, or breaking it.
- Each dose of Levetiracetam may be taken with or without a meal.
- The dosage and how often you take the drug are based on your medical situation, weight, age, and response to the treatment.
- To lessen the risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start taking the drug at a low dose and slowly increase it.
- To get the most benefit from it, take it regularly even if you feel well.
- Do not stop taking Levetiracetam without consulting your doctor. Your seizures may become worse when the medication is suddenly stopped.
- You should not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than it is prescribed.
What are the side effects of Levetiracetam?
Weakness, unusual tiredness, dizziness, and drowsiness may occur. These side effects are more common in the first few weeks and typically reduce as your body is adjusting to the drug. If any of these effects get worse or last, let your doctor right away. Remember that this medicine is given to you by your doctor because they have judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Several people using this drug do not have serious side effects. Let your doctor know if you have any serious side effects such as:
- Loss of coordination
- Mental/mood changes
- Signs of infection like chills, fever, or sore throat
- Signs of anemia like fats breathing or heartbeat and unusual tiredness that does not go away
- Easy bruising
A very serious allergic reaction is rare. However, get medical assistance right away if you notice any symptoms of it such as:
- Trouble breathing
- Severe dizziness
- Rash or itching
- Swelling of throat, tongue, and face
What are the precautions in using Levetiracetam?
- Levetiracetam must be used carefully in people with kidney or liver impairment. It may increase the risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of kidney or liver function is recommended during the treatment with this medicine.
- Few people who take this type of drug may experience mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you notice unusual changes in your mood or you have thoughts about harming yourself.
- This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding and pregnant women unless needed. The benefits and risks must be discussed with the doctor before taking the medicine.
- You should not take this drug if you are allergic to it or any ingredient that the drug contains.
- Alcohol consumption is not recommended during treatment with Levetiracetam. It might increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness. It is also advised to not perform any activities that need high mental alertness like operating machinery or driving.
- Before starting any medication, you should check with your doctor about all the possible drug interactions. All drugs interact differently from person to person.